Sunday, 19 January 2014

Potato selector guide from Thompson and Morgan

"If you're not sure what type of potato you want to grow, or you're not really sure what the difference between a 'first early' and a 'maincrop' is then use our easy-to-use potato selector guide to help you find your perfect potato!"

You can find more detailed information at: Thompson and Morgan

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Helping wildlife to help us.

From building hedgehog homes and creating wildlife ponds to planting wildlife meadows and helping to protect our bumblebees. If you are interesting in wildlife and would like to learn how you can help them to help us, there is a wealth of free information and advice at your fingertips.

Natural England:

"Everyone can be a wildlife gardener. Whether you are an expert gardener or simply enjoy growing plants on a patio, in a few tubs or on an allotment, there is lots you can do to encourage wildlife to visit. The UK's 15 million gardens already provide important homes for wildlife, but we can do so much more. Many creatures that are declining in the countryside, such as the common frog, song thrush and hedgehog, can thrive in domestic gardens and other areas if we provide the right conditions for them"

How to create gardens which can provide bee-friendly flowers that are rich in pollen and nectar.
"In the last 80 years our bumblebee populations have crashed. Two species have become nationally extinct and several others have declined dramatically.Bumblebees are familiar and much-loved insects that pollinate our crops and wildflowers, so people are rightly worried. We have a vision for a different future in which our communities and countryside are rich in bumblebees and colourful flowers, supporting a diversity of wildlife and habitats for everyone to enjoy"

"Planning and creating a wildlife-friendly garden. A good wildlife garden is more than just a corner of a garden left to go wild. Whether you want to create a new garden, or have an existing one, patio or balcony, try to imagine your garden is a nature reserve and you are the warden"

"Gardens can act as important stepping stones between nature reserves and other natural habitat by offering abundant supplies of nectar. Butterflies will visit any garden, however small, if they can feed from suitable nectar plants and a well thought out garden can attract up to 18 species of butterfly. If you manage your patch to create breeding habitat you may see even more"

"Making space for nature in your garden. Go wild in your garden! Large or small, ledge or yard, your garden can be a mosaic in a wider network of natural havens linking urban green spaces with nature reserves and the countryside"

"Wildflower meadows have become increasingly rare in our countryside, with 97% of them lost since the 1940s. So its perhaps no surprise that gardeners enjoy recreating these beautiful habitats. Encouraging a slice of the wild in your garden can be a satisfying way of attracting a wide diversity of birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife, and whilst it is no substitute for taking better care of these habitats in the wild, it helps to remind us how important it is to take care of what is left"

Gardening with Children

Gardening with Children aims to encourage children to take up gardening and especially learn how to grow their own food. 

The site is packed with information, growing advice, quizzes etc and can be used by both families and schools. It is run by the The Recycle Works as part of their ‘Love Your environment Campaign.

If you would like more information please visit their website here

Allotment gardening advice and recipes

Wondering just what to grow or what to do with the crops you have harvested?

Perhaps the Allotment Gardening website may be able to help. They have a variety of interesting and useful articles and advice on their webpage. This includes; growing advice, hints and tips for storing and harvesting food crops and recipes and cooking advice.

If you would like more information please visit the Allotment Garden website here.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Wild about gardens - how to attract wildlife

The RHS and The Wildlife Trusts have jointly produced information and advice on how you can encourage wildlife into your garden on their Wild About Gardens website. Sections include:

  • Things to do (many practical ways to enhance your garden for wildlife, from feeding birds to building ponds) 
  • Wildlife (find out more about the creatures regularly found in our gardens, and discover what they do there) 
  • Plants (a variety of plant shapes and sizes is ideal for wildlife) 
  • Habitats (creating different homes for wildlife)

If you are interested and would like more information please visit their website here

Vertical Veg - The art of growing in small spaces

What to do in in the garden in January - advice from Vertical Veg

Gardening in January - Vertical Veg have produced some excellent tips and advice on their website. Advice includes:

  • Start preparing for the new season.
  • Getting your seeds
  • Planting apples, pears, plums, blackcurrants
  • Harvesting winter crops sparingly

For more information please visit:

Friday, 10 January 2014

Why green is good for you.........

A new study illustrates how “Green space in towns and cities could lead to significant and sustained improvements in mental health, finds a new study published in the journal of Environmental Science & Technology. Analysing data that followed people over a five year period, the research has found that moving to a greener area not only improves people’s mental health, but that the effect continues long after they have moved. The findings add to evidence that suggests increasing green spaces in cities - such as parks and gardens - could deliver substantial benefits to public health”

For more information about the study can be found here

The benefits of Ecotherapy

"Ecotherapy is an intervention that improves mental and physical well-being by supporting people to be active outdoors doing gardening, farming, food growing, exercise, art and craft, or environmental conservation work"

For more information about Ecotherapy please visit the Mind website here.